Back in September, Microsoft announced its Surface Adaptive Kit alongside a collection of new Surface devices like the Surface Duo 2 and Surface Pro 8. However, the affordable Surface device has not been available since that announcement. Now, Microsoft is officially launching the adaptive kit.
The idea behind the product is it makes Microsoft Surface hardware more accessible. According to the company, it is an accessibility tool that does not compromise how hardware looks and performs.
Microsoft says there should be no tradeoffs for the 1 billion disabled people around the world when using Surface products. In a blog post, the company points out how important it is to properly design products for disabled users.
“We knew that some customers with disabilities were already augmenting their Surface devices to make it easier for them to use. Ultimately, we believed those augmentations should not only empower our customers to be more productive but be premium like their Surface. The feedback from the participants of the Inclusive Design Sprint enabled us to identify some of the shared challenges customers experienced when interacting with their devices, and those became the foundational pillars for the Surface Adaptive Kit,” says Bryce Johnson, Sr. UX Researcher for Accessibility.
“As with our work on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, we believe in ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’, so designing the kit in partnership with the disability community was very important.”
Features and Cost
Microsoft offers the following description for each of the features:
- “Bump labels: Bump labels come in four shape and colors, for a total of 16 labels. Shape variations are a solid dot, an open circle, a dash line, and an X. Each shape variation is available in green, orange, blue, and gray. They can be applied anywhere to help identify features such as buttons, keys, ports, etc. Peel the label from the card and place it on or next to the feature you want to identify.
- Keycap labels and applicator: Keycap labels are designed to help you identify keys on your keyboard. The labels are transparent with a raised feature on them. There are 12 total labels.
- Port labels: The port labels are designed to help identify and match cables and ports on your device. There are five different port label pairs, for 10 total labels. Each pair is a different color and has a different tactile design so they can be identified visually and by touch.
- Opener support: There are two opener supports. The first support has a larger loop, designed to assist in opening a laptop lid. Place the opener support on the edge of the lid with the loop hanging off. The second support has a flexible section in the middle where you can attach a lanyard or wrist strap.”
The Surface Adaptive Kits costs $13.49, making it the least expensive Surface hardware to date.
Tip of the day: If you have an HP, Dell, or Lenovo touchscreen PC, you’ll probably want to enable or disable it at various times. Unfortunately, however, many Windows 10 touch screen laptops don’t make this easy.
Thankfully, through some tweaks, you can turn off the touch screen no matter your device. In our tutorial, we show you how to disable a touchscreen on Windows 10. We’ll also show you to enable it if you wish, which may help if your HP laptop touch screen is not working, the touch screen is not working on your Lenovo laptop, or you’re having problems with any other brand.